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February 20, 2019

Post-Waiguru, Let Opposition Clean Its Own House

Devolution Cabinet Secretary had to leave office
Devolution Cabinet Secretary had to leave office

Nevitably, the Devolution Cabinet Secretary had to leave office. As many pointed out when the pressure started piling, it was just a matter of time before she caved in. The mistake she made was to take too long in the belief that her innocence (if that is what she is), would vindicate her.

She put too much premium on this innocence to the extent of ignoring her political responsibility, but then Anne Waiguru was never a politician and her mentors in public service appear not to have taught her the ways of the Kenyan politician and political scene.

Unfortunately, Jesus’ warning about casting the first stone was totally ignored in Waiguru’s case, as most of the politicians baying for her blood are themselves tainted by corruption one way or another, whether in this or previous regimes.

Some of those shouting loudest that she should ‘step aside’ were either personally, or through proxies, accused of misusing public funds during their watch, but they refused to take political responsibility.

Despite her inexperience, Waiguru brought a lot of value to the government and Kenyans, although her detractors would want us to think otherwise.

Those with the responsibility of giving kazi kwa vijana but were unable or unwilling to do it – and the initiative ended in disgrace and allegations of misuse of public funds – cannot have been too happy to see her so industriously do what they failed to do.

The poor are easy to control (until they rise up in a revolution) and those who would have wanted to keep the Kenyan youth on handouts, must have been incensed by Waiguru’s ministerial endeavours.

Politically, there were fears that her National Youth Programme that was speedily reaching all corners of the country might turn the tables. The large number of young men and women getting engaged must have deeply worried some politicians.

It was also during Waiguru’s watch that I personally renewed my driving licence after many years. Previously, I would pay someone to queue at the Kenya Revenue offices, an ordeal that took the better part of the day. But when I reluctantly went to the Huduma Centre at the GPO, I was in and out within minutes with a renewed licence and for the short time I was there, I was seated.

People should not therefore gloat or make tasteless jokes about her exit, but rather ponder the future of the many jobless young people in this country.

The MPs from Nyeri and others should not be looking for apologies (that will, of course, not be forthcoming), for in any case whether they were right or wrong, it was not their pressure that removed Waiguru.

I believe their clamour could easily have been ignored and what they should do now instead of widening the crack in Jubilee is join others in washing their dirty linen in private.

They should now with the same vigour, among others things start campaigning for the IEBC to deregister Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula, if indeed he did commit the election offence he is accused of.

Quoting the same constitution they have been flashing at Waiguru and using similar legal arguments, the opposition should now also start crucifying not only offenders from the Jubilee side, but also their own if they want Kenyans to believe they are genuine about good governance.

Opposition leaders must now stop ganging up in defence of wrongdoers within their ranks, but condemn crime wherever it occurs and by whomever. Batteries of lawyers and politicians should not take Johnstone Muthama to a police station, the media in tow. People should carry their own crosses. Let Muthama go there, Kuria-Mungatana style.

Mwangi Kiunjuri, the self-made man who now takes over Waiguru’s docket, must be reminded that the office he is taking over has huge responsibilities and is capable of changing the lives of many young Kenyans and thus putting the current government on a wave.

He should therefore expect to be fought on many fronts, so he must be firm and always look over his shoulder. Luckily for Kiunjuri, he has been there and done that, unlike the unfortunate Anne Mumbi Waiguru.


Njonjo Kihuria is a freelance journalist. [email protected]


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